I’ve made no secret about the influence of the Dead Robots Society podcast on my writing path. Before listening to these guys, self-publishing was no where near my radar. It was big time publishing or bust – I never considered the possibility of grinding out a career selling the work myself.
Big time publishing deals vs Self-Publishing is akin to the poker world. There are those who play in the big tournaments as a lifestyle. All it takes is a single final table and you’re looking at enough money to live on while you chase the next big payday.
But then there’s the rounders – the guys who play ring game 5-6 nights a week making hundreds of dollars a night (or week). They bring home enough money to pay their bills, have some leisure, and maintain a steady bankroll to get them through the rough times when the cards run cold.
Self publishing is the rounder who needs to grind a lifestyle from a series of small success instead of looking for that one major payday. Of course, like the poker world, there’s always a chance at unexpected success. A rounder can go on a hot streak and triple their bankroll in a few sessions.
Wow, that was a tangent. Maybe I need to make a separate post about the similarities between being a pro poker player and a professional writer.
Anyway, this is about limitations.
I’ve been listening to DRS and initially I would scoff at some of their word counts for the week. When one of the guys would say they wrote 3-6 thousand in a week and the others would call it a success, it would jar my view. I thought how small of a goal that was, at the time I was hitting no less than 3K per day.
Of course I also never expected to hit a burn out phase either. I thought this was just my rate of production. I was wrong though. After powering through that second novel and now about 25% through the second part of my serialized project – I feel the burn. I hit near 800 words yesterday, and broke a little over 1000 today.
But you know what, I don’t see it as a failure anymore. The guys were right, there’s no reason why you can’t feel accomplished with near a thousand per day. There’s going to be some 3-5K word days in my future, but there will also be some more zero word days too…
After finishing the second novel and coming face to face with the first zero word days of my writing career i began to get hard on myself. I would think about how I’m a failure – this thought process ended up bleeding into my own confidence about my work. I began thinking about maybe nothing I’ve written is worth selling.
Negativity is a toxin that will strangle creativity. My biggest challenge thus far in this writing endeavor is to stay motivated and silence the voice telling me that all my work is garbage. – Not recognizing my own limitations was a big culprit for this. By not meeting my unrealistic goals I guess I gave my mind permission to tell me how terrible I am.
Enough of that. I know what I can and can’t do, and I still feel comfortable I have stories to tell that you’ll want to read. Am I right? Well I guess we’ll all find out in 2016.
Stay tuned here in the coming days to find out how you can get on my mailing list for news about publishing dates and deals.
That’s it for now, my apologies for the ranting nature of this post. My battery is dying and I really want to get it up before the computer dies. I won’t have time to charge it before it’s off to work. *Sigh*
Full Time Writing Life – Hurry up and get at me.
@ShallopNewf or DevinLeeNL@gmail.com